From their roots down south in their homeland of Savannah, Georgia, all the way up north, and across the nation, the buzz of spastic band Showbread can be seen via their raw rock propaganda. Not only are t-shirts and stickers branded with the moniker popping up at a show near you, but their stylin’ threads of red and black are becoming the model to mimic as well.
And it’s no wonder, as Showbread consistently present a show not easily forgotten. With seven equally energetic bodies swarming the stage like a multitude of angry bees, propelling their guitars, shaking their hips, and leading the audience to sing and dance-alongs galore; it’s an image that will stick in the minds of the audience for months to come.
“We just try to portray the energy of the songs and have fun…and feed the crowd…it’s just a good time…chaos, but beautiful,” guitarist Matt Davis explains.
During the first half of Showbread's career, their trademark was the alternating vocals between Josh Dies and Ivory Mobley that included elements of screaming, yelling, and singing. Combined with their frenetic live shows, they were often labelled a spazz rock band.
Showbread utilized a keytar between 2004 and 2008. In keeping with their campaign for originality in the music scene, the band generally does not refer to their music as a particular genre; instead, they prefer the term "raw rock."
“It is the purest form of Raw Rock” Showbread guitarist Mike Jensen says of their new album The Fear Of God, which is being released on Tooth And Nail records August 11th, 2009. “It’s the best definition of Showbread”. Not being able to fit their style of high energy, danceable rock music conveniently into any genre, Showbread began describing themselves as “Raw Rock” early in their career. When the first dissonant chord of the opening track “I’m Lost” rings out, it’s easy to assume Jensen is telling the truth, this is pure Raw Rock.
With enough screaming and punk rock energy to satisfy fans of Showbread’s earlier chaotically tinged music and enough addictive synthesizer laced rhythm and melody to reel in the casual listener, it just might be that all the Showbread components are working in perfect synergy. The result is a bizarre mash up of elements of Refused and early Weezer. Guitarist Landon Ginnings however, warns that Showbread hasn’t compromised their edge: “Even the melodies have a dirty floor to lay on”. Chanting choruses, wailing feedback, chaos and structure all come together in a way that is undeniably Raw Rock.
Dies hints that the literary and theological Showbread tradition carries on with the new record as well. “It has a lot to do with embracing certain aspects of what the world views as madness. Yes, everything burns, and that’s wonderful in a way.” The biting satire that has become a Showbread staple makes a significant return as well on songs like “Shepherd, No Sheep” and “The Great Emasculation”.
What an unusual and refreshing thing it is in the barren landscape of today’s rock music to hear something that gives off no aura of conformity. Josh Dies plainly states “Appealing to anything other than our vision has never been an issue for us as a band. This time more than ever, all our members are working in unison to make the best Showbread record ever.” The result? A blistering and visceral rock album. From the frenetically charged “Nothing Matters Anymore” to the album’s devastating title track, The Fear Of God is an energy and sound that only Showbread can convey. Raw Rock in its pure and only form, and sounding better than ever.
Showbread's lyrics are often introspective and inspire many different interpretations from different listeners, sometimes using unusual things to draw analogies to larger topics. For instance, the song "A Llama Eats A Giraffe (And Vice Versa)", the lead track for No, Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical, uses the two animals as symbols to represent conflicting views between Nihilism and Christianity, and how the two actually share similar ideologies.
Showbread uses metaphorical references to horror movies in their lyrics, as can be seen in the titles of some songs. For instance, "Welcome to Plainfield, Tobe Hooper" from No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical refers to American film director Tobe Hooper, famous for the film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
When asked about other bands and Showbread's usage of the "Christian band" label, bassist Patrick Porter responded "Some people are just trying to get around the stipulations that come from being a Christian band and some people that are Christians and in bands have their hearts right but they don’t want to be called a Christian band because that just is not what the band was called to do and it’s just something they're doing because they love it and they're doing the right thing. It’s just a different avenue that we’ve taken and some people don’t take that one."
Despite their open statements concerning their faith, Showbread has endured intense criticism from some Christians who feel certain aspects of their music to be offensive and repugnant in terms of Christian morality. The uproar escalated to the point in 2006 that Showbread's recording No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical was pulled from some Christian music retailers (later restocked) and that Showbread issued an extensivestatement that concluded with the following statement:
"Showbread is a Christian band. As I tell you from the stage in dark musty concert venues each night, dressed in silly outfits, covered in sweat and in a tired voice. This means that we as a band believe in Jesus Christ, we believe the Bible to be the living word of God, we believe in love. A love that is real and has nothing to do with rules, regulations, condemnation, judgment or standards. It is a love that is unconditional, It is patient, it is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres."
Movies and music will pass away, but what Showbread stands for will not. Love endures all things."
In 2010, after the release of the widely popular Fear Of God album, Showbread announced that they had not only left long time label home Tooth & Nail, but had signed on with ministry label Come&Live!.
Listen to Showbread Here
|Dissonance of Discontent EP||1998||Indpenedent|
|Goodbye Is Forever||1999||Independent|
|Human Beings Are Too Shallow To Fall In Love EP||2000||Independent|
|Goodnight Sweethear, The Stitches Are Coming Apart EP||2001||Independent|
|Life, Kisses And Other Wasted Efforts||2003||Steel Roots|
|No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical||2004||Solid State Records|
|Age of Reptiles||2006||Tooth & Nail Records|
|Anorexia||2008||Tooth & Nail Records|
|Nervosa||2008||Tooth & Nail Records|
|The Fear of God||2009||Tooth & Nail Records|
|Who Can Know It?||2010||Come&Live!|
|Who Can Unknow It? (Remix Album)||2011||Independent|